On Tuesday, 4 July 2017 the IPN hosted a delegation of journalists from Beijing. This is one of the effects of a recently signed agreement on popularising knowledge about Poland’s history between the Institute of National Remembrance and the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The meeting was possible thanks to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which, at the request of the Polish Institute in Beijing, organised a study visit to Poland.
Among the guests were: Ma Xiaolin, a professor at Peking University of Foreign Languages, founder and president of Blshe.com - a blogging site in China, international expert, TV commentator; Yan Jingsheng, an expert on history, editor of the magazine "The Research of War History", specialising in social media and Yang Hong, director of Beijing News Radio's Program Department, a popular host of "News 2017”.
By means of visits such as this one, the Polish Institute in China seeks to present Poland through its contribution to the development of European culture and identity and to promote our country, among others, as a valuable "historical tourism" destination. The visit also serves the purpose of informing the Chinese public about next year's celebrations of the 100th anniversary of Poland regaining its independence and to help popularise historical projects carried out by the Polish Institute in Beijing.
The activities of the IPN, especially the work of the educational and scientific divisions, was presented by the head of the National Education Office - Karol Madaj. The guests were especially surprised by the amount of materials gathered and stored at the IPN Archive, which amount to 91 km of current records. During the meeting, the guests were familiarised with the biography of one of Poland’s national heroes – Cavalry Captain Witold Pilecki and heard about important documents related to his life and accomplishments, such as “Report W” from Auschwitz. The Chinese delegation was also shown the album "Captain Witold Pilecki 1901-1948", prepared by IPN.
Karol Madaj gave the guests an opportunity to play "Znaj Znak" , an educational game published by the IPN related to Polish national symbols, showing at the same time how the Institute effectively teaches history through games.
Marek Hańderek, a scholar from the Historical Research Office, informed the journalists about the ongoing projects of this office and talked about the war and post-war history of Poland. He mentioned the Institute's scientific conference on the relationship between the communist bloc countries and the Asian and African states, which will take place in the autumn of 2018 and encouraged the guests to popularise the event and to participate in it.
Our visitors were greatly interested in Soviet repressions and the functioning of the security apparatus in Poland. They were also interested in issues related to Polish-Jewish relations and Poles Rescuing Jews during World War II, including information that the largest number of people who received the Righteous Among the Nations medal were of Polish nationality. It was emphasized that in occupied Poland providing help or shelter for Jews was threatened with the death penalty. The guests learned about the ‘Ulma Family Museum of Poles Saving Jews in World War II’ in Markowa, of which IPN’s Deputy President Dr Mateusz Szpytmais the co-founder.